Greenpeace confronts Mattel over Barbie’s rainforest destruction

Standard Page - 14 June, 2011
June 14, 2011: Greenpeace has sent a message to Mattel, maker of Barbie, the world's most popular toy, over its continued use of rainforest pulp in the toy's packaging. Activists converged on the company's Melbourne headquarters this morning dressed as endangered Sumatran tigers and orangutans as "Barbie" cavorted nearby with a pink chainsaw.

There are only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world, some in areas slated to be logged by suppliers to Asia Pulp and Paper.

"Mattel needs to establish a comprehensive sustainable packaging policy immediately," said Greenpeace Australia-Pacific forests campaigner Reece Turner. "In the meantime it must cease all contact with Asia Pulp and Paper and ensure its suppliers do not source products from the notorious rainforest destroyer either."

Rolf Skar, from Greenpeace USA, said:

"It is encouraging that Mattel claims to be developing a deforestation policy, but they’re not out of the woods yet. The document still needs to be written and we also need to be sure that the world’s largest toy
company is going to show leadership on this issue. That means acting immediately to stop dealing with suppliers linked to rainforest destruction, and ensuring they have rigorous standards for all of their products. We are willing to help them develop this policy and
answer their questions, but until then our campaign continues."

Around the world, Greenpeace offices covering more than 40 countries including Australia
have participated in the campaign, with a YouTube video and a Twitter account
where a distraught Ken shows his distress at Barbie's callous behaviour. More than 750,000 people have viewed the online spoof video featuring the moment Ken discovers that Barbie is involved in rainforest destruction, and around 200,000 have swamped Mattel’s offices with emails complaining about the company’s use of products from Indonesian rainforests to package toys like Barbie.

The campaign, both online and off, will continue until Mattel agrees to put in place a comprehensive policy to phase out rainforest destruction from its supply chain for all its products.

Greenpeace investigators used forensic testing to reveal that Barbie’s packaging comes from Indonesia’s rainforests. They also used a combination of ‘on the ground’ investigation, mapping data and company certificates to show that Mattel, the makers of Barbie, along with other toy companies including Disney, are using packaging produced by
Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). APP has been exposed many times for
wrecking Indonesia’s rainforests to make products such as packaging.

ENDS

More information: Contact Rosanne Bersten, 0402 148 489 or James Lorenz, 0400 376 021.

A full dossier outlining the role of APP and Barbie in rainforest destruction is available here: www.greenpeace.org/app-toying-with-extinction.

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